The Trump administration has successfully appealed to a Chicago federal court to delay a decision on the national security implications of Boeing’s $17 billion deal to supply Iran Air with 80 passenger jets.
Defending the deal, Boeing argues that making its details public would “interfere with US foreign policy toward Iran by obstructing a key component of the international nuclear deal,” as well as undermining its position in the market.
The campaign against the aircraft deal is led by a US family which has an outstanding $67 million judgment against Iran relating to a terrorist attack which took place in Israel in 2003. The Leibovitch family wants to freeze any assets owned by Iran that might be in Boeing’s possession.
“We’re trying to get from Boeing information about the actual deal–the deal documents,” Robert J. Tolchin, an attorney for the Leibovitch family, told the Weekly Standard. We have a judgment against Iran, and we are interested in trying to find any which way to enforce that judgment.”
The court had asked the US government to state its position in the sale and its relevance to the Iran nuclear agreement by October 12. However, the US Justice Department has now been granted a two-month extension in which to come up with an assessment of whether making details of the deal public would really undermine the deal, CNN reports.
The government’s request to the court comes as it prepares to “decertify” the Iran deal. President Trump is expected to announce the decertification on Friday. The declaration would provide lawmakers in Congress with a 60-day window to re-impose sanctions against Iran.
Boeing received a license to negotiate with Iran Air in February 2016 after the US and EU had lifted sanctions from Iran following Tehran’s implementation of the nuclear deal signed in July 2015.
The companies announced the $16.6 billion deal to deliver 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777s to Iran Air in December 2016. However, some critics in the US House of Representatives have tried to block the deal, claiming that the planes will be used for other purposes rather than commercial flights.